Reasons why Keladry of Mindelan from the Protector of the Small series is one of the best heroines in YA:
Kel is a genuinely good person. Her morality and a sense of good is on par or can even rival Superman’s. Her self-righteousness can even get somewhat annoying sometimes, which is a flaw that actually makes her that much better. You just want her to think something bad once!! But only cause you’re starting to realize that you’re not a very good person yourself, lol.
In the same note, it’s nice to have a kick-ass character who is simply good. Not an anti-heroine, or a sassy back-talker, or possesses a bitchy devil may care attitude. She is polite, nice, respectful individual. In the same breath, she can also kill you with her bare hands… most respectfully.
Kel respects authority. I’m so sick of young adult heroines and heroes who constantly sass and back talk adults because they can or because they don’t think respect is something they should give. A lof of characters flaunt authority, and always get away with it. And somehow it’s supposed to be seen as cool or badass or quirky. Kel doesn’t back talk or disrespects adults. But she does stand up for herself when she believes the adult is wrong… respectfully, without screaming her head off or doing something stupid. Kel is one of the most respectful heroines I know, and sadly… it’s rather refreshing
Because of the last two points people often find Kel boring, because apparently if you’re nice and respectful you’re a boring person.
Kel stands up to bullies, but she always takes the peaceful approach first. Violence isn’t always the answer, but Kel is not afraid to use it if it means protecting people who can’t defend themselves. She always gave the bullies a chance to walk away first.
Kel deals with sexist and misogynist attitudes through the entire series. She gets called awful names and asked to prove herself over and over. And while she does occasionally lapse into self-pity, it’s understandable, she never once complains about it outloud, because she knows it will not win her any extra points.
Kel stands up for people who do not have a voice without trying to take away their autonomy. These mostly include servants, animals, and free folk– who are generally unnoticed or abused by the upper classes. Kel accepts Peachblossom who is an abused war horse because she knows if she won’t take him he’ll be killed. She comes to an understanding with him without resorting to changing him. Kel takes in a maid Lalasa and respects her wish not to report her abuser, but she does teach her to defend herself from future attacks. When Lalasa’s abuser is caught and punished, Kel actually tells the king the laws are wrong and need to be changed. Kel rescues Tobe because she knows no one else will help him. Kel makes sure that the convicts are at least fed better so they can be strong enough to fight and defend instead of using them as front-line fodder.
Kel is loyal to a fault. She is the friend you want to have. The one who will fight for you if you need her too. The one who will simply listen. The one who will always be there when you need her.
Kel is good at math. Name me another heroine who likes or is good in math.
She’s a just a nice, respectful, loyal, kind, smart, kick-ass person. The kind we should all aspire to me. And I wish more characters were like her.